Georgia Tech Tribe started their pilgrimage for their second trip to the National Championships in 2 years, or 3rd in 20 years, by competing in the ACC Ultimate Championships in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was clear that even the weather would battle against GT this season as the ice worked to prevent a timely arrival to the campus and to the start of games. Georgia Tech prides itself in its ability to beautify not only our own campus, but the campuses of universities all over the country. Here is some of our best work from the fields Saturday morning.
With this, Georgia Tech had returned to form and was mentally capable of starting the day.
Coming in as the one seed Tribe was first matched against the 5th seed in their pool, Virginia Night Train. Initially Virginia effectively used an H stack which centered on quick handler movement and give and gos to work the disc down the field. However, like the silverback gorilla, Tribe quickly broke the upcoming challengers to assert dominance. Cold hands and forced tight throws would cause early errors for the Night Train and allow multiple chances for Tribe to break. As Tribe’s offense returned to the field it was clear that Jay and Jack (much better than Jack and Jill) were here to make a statement. Efficient, quick movement along with threats to both the under and away are formidable weapons that any team will shudder just trying to imagine taking away. Nick “the other one” Hunter leading the team in scoring at Nationals returned to prominence, going away to score the almost “golden gun” in the first point. The story would remain the same throughout the game Tribe offense rolled and defense crushed. The first game of the 2013 season was in the books, Tribe victorious 12-7.
Clemson Joint Chiefs was the second game of the day and would come to prove to be a much more hardened opponent than Night Train. Tribe came out on defense and much like Virginia, broke to start. Excellent awareness and athleticism by Jay to get the “layout” D followed by a 40 yd put by Stephen to Austin in the end zone, solidified the break. Offense fought hard for their first point and despite several turns, managed to put the goal in with a huck from Illinois transfer Jack Krieger to Tyler. Hucks would prove difficult this game for both teams as muscles were not completely warm and hands were still frozen. Tribe was poised to break again at 5-4, however an unfortunate drop on a hammer allowed Clemson to hang on. Repeated incomplete hucks caused problems for Tribe’s offense allowing Clemson to break back by just sneaking in a pass around a bidding Tyler. They then followed that break with another. Tribe would eventually break back after our zone forced Clemson to throw a hammer to the end zone which was denied by Brian Walsh. Amongst all the great plays this weekend, the true stand out of the weekend was UNC’s ability to accurately predict and erect a large pole right where Jay was going to pull the disc. He was thwarted not once, but twice by the pole through the weekend. This gave Clemson an easy offensive point starting at GT’s brick, which they quickly put in for the score. Clemson’s shining moment in the game was without a doubt was their NHL level hockey deck on Austin Davis. A hit so well executed that our resident Canadian, Devon, approved of it. Clemson would continue to take advantage of Tribe’s turns. Tribe started their comeback with Nick Hunter making a huge layout D on a Clemson huck, saving the break. Tyler Plunkett, inspired by Nick’s carelessness for his own body, and due to the fact that he may be more comfortable being horizontal than vertical had a ridiculous layout D catch off the first throw of the next point. However, despite Tribe’s late surge, it was not enough to overcome the hole we put ourselves in, falling 13-10.
After falling to Clemson, Tribe would need to go undefeated the rest of the day to retain the one spot in their pool. Maryland worked hard but could not keep up with the Tribes veracity and ability to fight back from a loss. GT was able to open up lines near the end and allow our rookies and red shirt sophomores (it’s a thing) to come in to prove themselves. Strephen managed to finish the game by getting a huge layout intimidation D, which he then followed by throwing to Partha in the end zone for the W.
At the end of the day it came down to a battle of the Techs, well Georgia Tech and the Virginia Polytechnic Institution (can anyone confirm if they are a Tech school?). Tribe and Burn would trade for much of the game, Tribe holding a slight lead through the first half and the start of the second. However the end of the game saw large swings in the momentum. Burn managed to break and even go up, after a failed attempt to catch a callahan by Karl “Can’t catch a Callahan” Staber, who was promptly injured later in the point (he would come back later in the game, view Karl here: http://bit.ly/15e9CtD). Calls became more controversial throughout the game as stakes became higher and fouls were immediately called and contested, discussion was not going to be a viable option anymore. Defense turned into Tribe’s main weapon at the end as the heavy weights, such as Jay, Nick, Tyler, and Jack played both sides to help the defensive effort. At 13-12 Tribe up, Burn receiving, Tyler once again went horizontal again for an impressive layout D. After Austin was hit on an upline, the entire field went silent as he hucked it to Jay deep. Jay came down with it confirming Tribe’s one seeding in the pool and sending the sidelines erupting in cheers.
Sunday began with a rematch against pool play team Maryland. Last year Maryland proved to be too much early in the day, but this year was different. Fully aware of what the day would entail, GT came to the fields early and ready to work hard. Once again Tribe would put in the work early, earning breaks and offense crushing. Tribe would go onto win 15-11.
Once again, showing that GT had the much stronger pool, 3 out of the 4 of semifinalists were from our initial pool. Tribe would face Virginia after they came off a close 14-12 victory over NC State. Virginia would not be able to contain Tribe, despite an overall strong showing at the tournament. Highlights of the game include JP’s epic once in a lifetime layout score (which will forever be in the memory of few, due to cameraman error and a poorly timed defensive line meeting). Red shirt sophomore (still a thing) Devon Rogers also came to showcase his skills this weekend and clearly showing his dominant height and reach by skying veteran Jay “he plays for Chain” Clark. All eyes were now on the final between the host UNC and Georgia Tech.
The last time GT and UNC played, at Nationals, Georgia Tech was victorious and gave them a path into prequarters. Tribe came out on defense and once again broke to start by grad transfer Jack Krieger tipping his man’s pass and then golden gunning it to RSS (Red Shirt Sophomore) Patrick Panuski in the end zone. While defense was able to deliver the offense did not have as much luck in the first half. UNC’s zone coverage proved efficient and caused many breaks, eventually going into half time up 8-2. Despite, being a first half time for the majority of the tournament, GT was on a mission to show that we had a fight in us. Starting out on O, Tribe proved they were capable of scoring, 8-3. This was quickly followed by 2 breaks, 8-5. Tribe managed to stabilize and trade points for a while, but would never be able to close the gap. Shining moments of the game include Devon “#RSS” Rogers sky (pictured below) for a huge offense point out of half. JP “Sleazy” Tiernan showcased his sleazability in the vertical direction by getting up to save a hammer on the sideline. Overall the weekend showed the promise that this season entailed. After fighting through a tough pool and then essentially doing it again on Sunday, formerly announced that Tribe was back in fighting form.
GT will be in action this upcoming weekend (2/15-2/17) at Warm Up follow @GTTribe for updates.